This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Ford Focus Hatchback review.

Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
  • Dashboard improvements from 2014
  • Reduced button count, quality uplift
  • Sporty versions feel too ordinary inside

With that raft of buttons, particularly on the Ford Focus’s steering wheel, it can initially be confusing but shouldn’t take too long to learn where all the controls are. As part of the 2014 facelift, Ford reduced the switchgear count and introduced an 8.0-inch touchscreen for models fitted with Sync2. It’s a big improvement but not as classy and fuss-free as a Volkswagen Golf’s cabin.

Disappointingly, there’s little else to make the interiors of the Focus ST and RS feel much more special than the regular versions, save for some contrasting stitching to the leather and a trio of supplementary dials at a jaunty angle atop the centre of the dash.

These gauges display oil temperature, turbo boost and oil pressure, but are small and require more than just a cursory glance to absorb the information.

The front windscreen pillars are quite large but they don’t hinder visibility that much – only when you are trying to pull out at junctions with acute angles. Rear visibility is good, however, although the door mirrors are squarer than most, but do have a wide-angle curvature to their outer edges.


  • Ride comfort a strong point
  • RS is very stiffly-sprung, ST less so
  • Sports seats may be snug for some

There’s little to complain about the comfort on offer in the Ford Focus. The seats are supportive and comfy, with a broad range of adjustment and, combined with height-and-reach movement in the steering column, it’s easy to find a decent driving position.

We would have liked a little more lateral support to hem you in when cornering tightly, but it’s not a deal-breaker. The optional sports seats help here and are more comfortable but we’d recommend actually testing them to see if they are worth the extra outlay – it’s not a cheap option.

The ride is excellent – one of the best in the class – and even after a couple of hours of hard driving we emerged from the car feeling very fresh with no niggling aches or pains.

Road and engine noise are well contained, but there is a little bit of wind rustle coming from the door mirrors.

Mixed results with the faster Focuses

Ford Focus ST comfort could have been compromised by the sports suspension, but it rides surprising well, even over rutted roads. In city centres it’ll deal with manhole covers without fuss and only the most pock-marked streets present a problem. Yes, it’s firm, and yes there are more comfortable cars out there, but this is a high-performance sports car that’s good enough for daily use.

Secondly, the sports seats do a good job of hemming you in on tight corners and that’s reassuring, offering a firm, yet pleasing amount of support for your back. If you are a little on the portly side you may find them a bit tight.

The Focus RS’s low-profile tyres and stiff suspension are going to make for bumpy progress in the UK, but most owners will put up with it for the sheer performance on offer here. Just keep those two-stage dampers out of their stiffer mode because on most British roads that’s likely to make the RS an unruly animal.

We loved the standard seats, though. They’re beautifully finished and supportive, albeit sitting slightly higher up than we were expecting. Less comfortable – but more supportive – are the optional Recaro shell seats, and they’ve proven popular with those who have ordered the car so far.